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Vestnik Vysshey Shkoly (Higher School Herald)
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Features of behavior of Russian and American students on social network Facebook

М.И. Кришталь, А.В. Щекотуров
80,00 Р

UDC 316-054-042.4:004


M.I. Krishtal is Cand. Sci. (Geography), Researcher e-mail:; and A.V. Shchekoturov is Cand. Sci. (Sociology), Head of Sociological Lab e-mail: Both at Sociological lab of the Institute for Geopolitical and Regional Studies of Immanuel Kant Baltic Federal University


Presented is the analysis of peculiarities of behavior of Russian and American students in the social network Facebook. The focus of the study is on what activities students of the two countries are most often engaged in, as well as on what motives they motivate when adding users to the personal list of friends. The main method of research is a formalized interview (N = 266). Students of two higher educational institutions located in Kaliningrad (Russia) and Philadelphia (USA) were interviewed. In anticipation of the analysis, according to the functionality, the types of activities on Facebook were highlighted, i.e. social, functional and cognitive. Also forms of activity were divided into public and private according to the nature of their manifestation (open or hidden). The motives for making friends were typologized according to the user’s orientation towards the development of “binding” or “connecting” social capital. As a result of the analysis, it was revealed that students from the United States are more likely to engage in public activities on Facebook than students from Russia, which is expressed in more active commenting on posts, publishing content on their personal page and friends’ pages. Russian students prefer private activities (chat and viewing other people’s pages). The functional type of activity, expressed in the use of gaming and non-gaming applications, turned out to be the most unpopular form of pastime on Facebook among students in both countries. It was also found that students at two universities are more focused on the development of “connecting” social capital. At the same time, for Russian students the dating factor in real life does not act as an important motive for adding friends to the list as for American ones. It is suggested that the basis for the differences discovered are the features of the cultural environments in which students live. The Russian environment involves more cautious participation in public life, the American stimulates social activism. Significant gender differences in peculiarities of student behavior in Facebook network could not be identified.

Key words: social networks, students, Facebook, formalized interview, motivation, behavior, social capital.



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The research was supported by the grant of the President of the Russian Federation No. MK-1909.2019.6 at the Immanuel Kant Baltic Federal University. The project “Private in public: Cultural features of managing self-presentation by the student youth in social media (on the example of Russia and the USA)”.